A Focused Green New Deal

By William S. Becker If Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brings the Green New Deal to a vote in the Senate this week as he intends, the result will be political theater. It won’t be more than that. Why? Because in its present form, the Green New Deal is a vision articulated in a nonbinding resolution, and the opposition of the Republican-controlled Senate is preordained. Here is what we’re likely to witness: McConnell and his Republican colleagues will try to brand the entire Democratic Party as a big-government socialist cabal. Democrats, who actually represent 50 shades of opinion on the proposals in the Green New Deal, may ask why so many Republicans are still ignoring climate change when half the states with the most weather disasters are “red”. If Senate Democrats have done their homework, they might ask McConnell how denying climate change is good for his constituents in Kentucky. The state ranks 12th the nation for its number of natural disasters. It has averaged more than one disaster declaration a year for the last 66 years. Yet it ranks 48th

23 Charts: Challenges Ahead for a Green New Deal

The Green New Deal proposal in Congress has caused a great deal of buzz, some of it enthusiastic, some of it skeptical and some of it negative. But we should be asking this: If not the Green New Deal, or something like it, then what are our options? There should be no debate about the fact that the United States and the rest of the world must act boldly and quickly to pull back from far more disastrous impacts of climate change than we are experiencing today. This post offers a set of slides that show some of the good news and the bad news about our response to climate change so far. Many of the illustrations come from Statista, a service that analyzes data from more than 22,500 sources to spot trends on a wide variety of topics including energy and climate. Others come from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, PoliticoPro and other data organizations. What we see is this: Although climate change must be addressed by every nation, the United States is in the driver's seat

A 2016 Survey of American Meteorological Society Members About Climate Change

This report provides initial findings from the national survey of American Meteorological Society (AMS) member views on climate change conducted by George Mason University and AMS, with National Science Foundation funding. Our survey was administered via email between January 6 and January 31, 2016. After making an initial request to participate, we sent up to five additional requests/reminders to participate to those people who had not yet completed a survey. A total of 4,092 AMS members participated, with participants coming from the United States and internationally. The participation rate in the survey was 53.3%. We wish to sincerely thank all AMS members who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in this research. We hope the following report is useful to them.

College-Educated Views on Global Warming

March 2015 - via Gallup An aggregate poll conducted by Gallup shows that educated Democrats are less skeptical of global warming, whereas 74 percent of educated Republicans believe that the seriousness of global warming is “generally exaggerated”. This suggests that higher levels of education reinforce core partisan positions. It also suggests that partisanship is the main indicator in shaping American views on global warming, rather than education. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Educated Reps more likely than less educated Reps to doubt global warming Democrats with college degrees tend to be less skeptical Education related to self-reported understanding of issue for both parties   Read more here: College-Educated Republicans Most Skeptical of Global Warming

Appealing to our ideas of legacy may help combat climate change.

January 2016 - by Ezra Markowitz and Lisa Zaval - via Washington Post. Here’s the secret to making people care about climate change: Make them think about their legacy. In a series of psychological studies we conducted over the past two years with Americans from across the country, we found that simply asking people to reflect upon how they want to be remembered by future generations can lead them to engage in more “helping behavior” in the present, particularly when it comes to protecting the environment... Read full article: Here's the secret to making people care about climate change    

Voters Prefer Candidates who Support Climate-Friendly Policies

October 2015 - via Yale Project on Climate Change Communication Our new national survey finds that majorities of registered Democrats, Independents and liberal and moderate Republicans want climate action, will vote for candidates who will support it and represent the mainstream of American voters. The survey also finds that conservative Republicans’ views are often different from the rest of American voters. For example: • Registered voters are more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who strongly supports action to reduce global warming (36% are more likely to vote for such a candidate, 16% are less likely). Only conservative Republicans are less likely to vote for such a candidate. • Likewise, registered voters are less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who strongly opposes action to reduce global warming (43% are less likely, 13% are more likely). Only conservative Republicans are more likely (slightly) to vote for a candidate who strongly opposes action to reduce global warming. • The 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (often referred to as COP21) recently concluded in Paris, leading to an international agreement

Americans Support an International Climate Agreement in Paris

October 2015 - via Yale Project on Climate Change Communication Most Say an Agreement is Important and Countries Should Do More About Global Warming The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference opens in Paris on November 30. In preparation for the negotiations, each country was asked to submit their own national action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and over 90% have done so, including the United States. President Obama is now going to Paris to press for an international agreement to reduce global warming. What does the American public think? In our recent national survey, we asked Americans about the U.N. Summit in Paris, how much the U.S. and other countries should do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and whether the U.S. should only act if other countries do. A large percentage of Americans (71%) say it is important to reach an agreement in Paris this year to limit global warming and 43% say reaching an agreement is very or extremely important. A large majority of Democrats say an agreement is important (85%), as do nearly 2 out of

Candidates take note: GOP voters increasingly believe humans play role in climate change

September 2015 - by Todd Robberson - via Dallas Morning News GOP presidential and congressional candidates can no longer point derisively at environmentalists and scientists as alarmist tree-huggers merely for asserting that global climate change is real and that human activity is playing a role. It turns out that most self-identified GOP voters feel the same way, according to new poll results by a Republican polling group. Read more: Candidates take note: GOP voters increasingly believe humans play role in climate change

American Beliefs and Perceptions

September 2015 - via University of Texas at Austin The latest polling results from the University of Texas, Austin, reveal the largest consensus since political scientists at Texas started polling on the subject in 2012 — and a 68 percent increase since last year. It also shows a drop from 22 to 14 percent in Americans who flat out deny climate change. Read full report: University of Texas Energy Poll  

Conservative Republican Views on Clean Energy

August 2015 - via ClearPath Echelon Insights, North Star Opinion Research, and Public Opinion Strategies, conducted a comprehensive survey, led by three prominent Republican pollsters, that explores Conservative Americans’ opinions about climate change, the use and development of clean energy, and which policies and tools should be used. The survey studied American voters, with a particular focus on Conservative Republicans, and found that voters strongly favor clean energy for health, safety, and economic reasons. Read more: Conservative Republican Views on Clean Energy

Predictors of public climate change awareness and risk perception around the world

July 2015 - via Yale Project of Climate Communication Research reveals for the first time what the world thinks about climate change and why. Using data from the 2007-2008 Gallup World Poll, conducted in 119 countries, researchers identified the factors that most influence climate change awareness and risk perception for 90 percent of the world’s population.  Read full report: Predictors of public climate change awareness and risk perception around the world